Fly-half Dan Carter returns to the New Zealand side for Saturday’s Bledisloe Cup clash with Australia but there is no place in Graham Henry’s 22-man squad for Sonny Bill Williams.
Carter has recovered from recent ankle surgery to line up at number 10 against the Wallabies at Hong Kong Stadium but rugby league convert Williams will have to wait until later in the All Blacks’ northern hemisphere tour to make his debut.
In all, Henry makes four changes from the side that fought back to edge out Australia 23-22 in Sydney last month.
Along with Carter, who will win his 75th cap, Jimmy Cowan returns at scrum-half following Piri Weepu’s broken leg, Jerome Kaino is named at blindside flanker and Joe Rokocoko lines up on the wing.
Hikawera Elliot will earn his first cap if the hooker comes off the bench while Isaia Toeava is back in the squad following hip surgery.
New Zealand team to face Australia at Hong Kong Stadium on October 30: Mils Muliaina (Waikato), Cory Jane (Wellington), Conrad Smith (Wellington), Ma’a Nonu (Wellington), Josevata Rokocoko (Auckland), Dan Carter (Canterbury); Jimmy Cowan (Southland), Tony Woodcock (North Harbour), Keven Mealamu (Auckland), Owen Franks (Canterbury), Brad Thorn (Canterbury), Tom Donnelly (Otago), Richie McCaw (Canterbury, captain), Kieran Read (Canterbury), Jerome Kaino (Auckland).
Reserves: Hikawera Elliot (Hawke’s Bay), John Afoa (Auckland), Samuel Whitelock (Canterbury), Daniel Braid (Auckland), Alby Mathewson (Wellington), Stephen Donald (Waikato), Isaia Toeava (Auckland).